Love him or loathe him, Jeremy Clarkson has earned some serious money for the BBC with the runaway success that is Top Gear, which he has co-presented since 2002. It is undoubtedly BBC2’s biggest and most popular show, which is why any decision to suspend the programme could be a problem.
Clearly, if Mr Clarkson did hit a colleague that is unacceptable and on that basis the bosses at the BBC have no choice but to remove him. But, if it’s far less serious then the corporation is in danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water.
Clarkson is, of course, a controversial character but this is surely part of his appeal; he doesn’t toe-the-line and will speak his mind, but he is very entertaining.
The problem, now, is that egos are involved. Clarkson isn’t going to like being suspended and the bosses will want to look tough. The likely outcome is that Clarkson will walk away from the BBC and it is likely that he would be welcomed with open arms by any other major channel.
Ultimately, if we step back and look at this alleged fracas (silent ‘s’ please) in a broader context of current world events, it is hardly a major story whether or not one presenter loses his or her job.